A man holds his envelopes as he waits in line to mail his family's income tax returns at a mobile post office near the Internal Revenue Service building in downtown Washington, April 15, 2010. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
As Californians race to meet Monday's deadline for filing their taxes, we can keep an eye on how much money in personal income tax is arriving in Sacramento.
The state controller's office has a daily tally of these receipts on its web site. Check it out here. $188 million arrived on Wednesday, for example.
Personal income tax accounts for more than half of state general fund revenues, so state policymakers watch this data very closely at this time of year, when most tax revenue comes in. So far, revenues are running ahead of projections. That may be good news, in that it could cushion the budget pain ever so slightly. But it could be bad news -- if the prospect of higher revenues weakens budget discipline in the Capitol.